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Many years ago I heard a gruesome radio news report about a
parachutist who descended to her death into rotating helicopter
blades...can anyone confirm if this really happened?
I have looked all over the internet for information of a young girl who was in her 20's who died in the 1970's (i think) at Thruxton airfield She fell through helicopter rotor blades when parachuting i have learned.
She was not a novice but not sure of her total jumps. This is not the young girl doing her first jump for Charity 1987 which i did find some information about I have only recently heard of her death but i cannot find any information on the accident. I was a close friend of her at the time If anyone can give me any further information it would be most appreciated Thank you Ian
I was one of the people with Paula that weekend - I didn't know her but over the two day training weekend spoke with her a few times - the weather was blustery that afternoon and inconsistent in direction and strength - sadly this was a significant factor in Paula's death - she was in the first group of 4/5 parachutists out of approx 12-15 of us to be lifted up by plane for our jumps - we jumped from approx 2,500ft - we drew lots when to go - one of the first jumpers landed outside of the airfield in an adjoining field (bearing in mind we were meant to land in a corner of the airfield near to where we were training) - the airfield wasn't just used by parachutists but also aircraft, mainly for training as it transpired - I sadly watch Paula veer totally hopelessly off course into the centre of the airfield - I remember watching how her course was bearing straight towards a training helicopter that was hovering about 5 - 10 foot off the ground, I hoped that as I was about 300m from the helicopter that she was going to land way short or beyond it.
I know there was an enquiry not long after - which I can't remember the outcome of - but I know the parachute centre closed down some time after - it's almost impossible to imagine how mixing a static line parachute jump with an airfield was deemed safe.
I was a terrible thing that happened that day - I'm conscious it's the 30th anniversary of her death this August - I'll pray for her soul on the day of her death as I have at many times done since - Tom